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Philippines – Coronavirus Disease Update

All ports

The following guidelines will be implemented for cruise vessels:

  • Vessels with passengers who were in Mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to dock.
  • Vessels who did not call Mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau must undergo a health screening, submit a Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent documents related to COVID.
  • If allowed to dock, all travel excursions in the Philippines must be submitted. The master of the vessel must immediately report to a Quarantine Medical Officer any occurrence of flu like symptoms.

The following guidelines will be implemented for cargo vessels.

  • Vessels that called Mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau 14 days prior will be boarded at anchorage. A yellow flag must be hoisted at the foremast upon arrival at anchorage then quarantine boarding formalities will begin.
  • This procedure will be repeated at any local port called after.
  • Ship agents of vessel with PUI at a non-competent port must arrange the immediate diversion of the vessel to either Manila or Cebu (whichever is nearer).

Temporary ban on entry into the Philippines of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visas, directly coming or within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines has been to China, Hong Kong, Macau.

Effective February 14, 2020, Taiwan was removed from the Philippines’ temporary travel ban list.

Effective February 28, Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa Holders from North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea including Daegu City and Cheongdo County are free to enter the Philippines provided they will be under strict fourteen (14) day home quarantine. All foreigners from South Korea will be screened by the Bureau of Immigration to determine that they are not from areas or have traveled from areas with travel restriction.

All disembarkation of foreign passengers and crew from cargo and cruise vessels are temporarily deferred until further notice. Only foreign on-signer crew will be allowed for crew change. Filipino crew who are joining/off-signing will still be allowed for crew changes.

Province of Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, as announced on March 16.

  1. Outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any of the international airports in Luzon shall be allowed to travel for a period of seventy-two (72) hours from effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
  2. Inbound international passengers, in transit upon effectivity, shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions imposed by the IATF.
  3. All inbound Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of Permanent Resident Visa, and holders of 9(e) Diplomat Visas issued by the Philippine Government shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions imposed by the IATF.
  4. The movement of cargoes within, to and from the entire Luzon shall be unhampered. Guidelines for the accompanying crew or personnel of transiting cargoes shall be formulated by the Department of Transportation.
  5. Land, air and sea travel of uniformed personnel for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance, shall be allowed.

Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) – released an advisory in view of the declaration of the “Enhanced Community Quarantine” in Luzon. These guidelines are as below:

  • Passenger shipping operations in all ports in the whole Luzon shall be suspended during the period of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
  • Cargo transport via sea shall continue to facilitate the movement of basic goods and commodities.
  • Sea travel in areas outside of Luzon shall be subject to quarantine measures and/or travel restrictions issued by Local Government Unit (LGUs).
  • All applications pertaining to the Shipyards Regulation Service (SRS), Domestic Shipping Service (DSS), and Maritime Safety Service (MSS) shall be filed with the nearest available MARINA Regional Office (MRO) or processed through electronic mail.
  • All applications filed with the Overseas Shipping Service (OSS) shall be processed through electronic mail.
  • All applications for issuance and amendment of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or issuance of Special Permit (SP) or Provisional Authority (PA), petition for approval and confirmation of the sale and transfer of ships shall be filed by the applicants/petitioners with the MRO where the ship is homeported. However, for ships homeported in MARINA Central Office (MCO), applications may be filed with the nearest MRO where the shipping company/operator is having a branch office.

Effective March 24, suspension of the 7-day period to lodge goods declaration during the “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ). Lodgment and filing of goods declaration may be made within fifteen (15) days from the date of discharge of last package. The period to file goods declaration may be extended for another fifteen days on valid grounds upon request. The order shall cover shipments with date of discharge of last package starting March 10, 2020.

Effective March 28, Department of Labor and Employment accommodation assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers residing outside National Capital Region, to ensure smooth repatriation upon their arrival at different ports.

All NOA of maritime vessels shall be submitted by local shipping agencies to the SOS office thru email. NOA should be electronically sent withing twenty-four (24) hours for Manila ports and within forty-eight (48) hours for sub-ports, prior to vessel’s actual arrival.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on operations of accommodation establishments during the enhanced community quarantine issued on 18 March 2020 states that no hotels, resorts, tourist inns, motels, and the like can operate, except those with the following. Only new bookings of these guests are allowed.

  1. Foreign guests with existing bookings under any accommodation establishment in the Philippines as of 17 March 2020.
  2. Long staying guests with existing bookings as of 17 March 2020; and
  3. Guests who are employees of neighboring basic establishments (e.g. supermarkets, hospitals, medical facilities, utility companies, BPOs, and the like).

Bureau of Immigration scales down Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) operations.

The Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is extended until April 30, 2020.

Cruise ships are allowed to repatriate Filipino crew and non-Filipino crew can take international flights from the Philippines. The general guidelines are all repatriated crew must stay in individual cabins and must be exempted from the non emergency duties. For disembarkation of repatriated crew:

  • Signing off Filipino crew must complete the 14-day quarantine period at a land-based or sea-based quarantine facility
  • Foreign crew without signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and with confirmed outbound flights are allowed to disembark

All outgoing vessels must secure issuance of Quarantine Outgoing Clearance.

Effective April 21, DOH released a Memorandum no. 2020-0181 indicates revised guidelines on the mass repatriation and the mandatory quarantine of Overseas Filipino (OF) working in Cruise ships during COVID-19. The Local Manning Agencies (LMA), Quarantine facilities/Hotel accommodations and Overseas Filipinos shall follow by the requirement stated in these guidelines.

The DOLE/OWWA shall issue a Certificate of Completion of quarantine period upon completion of the 14-day mandatory quarantine.At the approved quarantine facility/hotel accommodation, the BOQ will issue a Certificate of Completion of quarantine period upon completion of the 14-day stringent quarantine.

President Duterte has approved the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in “high risk” areas until May 15, 2020.

Visayas Island, Panay, Island – NAMRIA released a NAVPHIL 080/20 stating the rules implemented at the ports in the provinces and cities of Panay Island. The limitations are:

  • Entry of persons to the provinces and cities in Panay Island are prohibited.
  • All passenger vessels and non-conventional vessels are prohibited from docking at any port in Roxas City from 14 March 2020 until further notice.
  • Vessels are allowed to unload and load cargo at any port in Panay Island. However, crew members of the vessels and delivery personnel will be subjected to applicable heath and quarantine protocols.

Department of Health (DOH) – released a Department Memorandum No. 2020-0200, Omnibus Interim Guidelines for the Quarantine and Testing Procedures for ALL arriving Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and Foreign Nationals during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • OF’s and foreign nationals who tested negative RT-PCR can discontinue the facility-based Stringent Quarantine. Provided that they undergo 14-day home quarantine.
  • BOQ will issue Unified Quarantine Certificate to the OF’s and foreign nationals upon discharge from stringent/mandatory quarantine facilities.
  • Day Zero of the 14-day quarantine period will commence from the departure from last port call.
  • Bunkering and resupplying of provisions is allowed without disrupting normal function.
  • Waste disposal is now allowed provided of all necessary like wearing proper PPE’s during collection.
  • Foreign crew can disembark the ship if it will be used as a quarantine facility.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) – released a Memorandum Circular No. 19-2020 for collection of ship generated wastes from Cruise and Passenger ships. Cruise and Passenger ships being used as a quarantine facility or allowed to berth for the disembarkation of Filipino crew shall be allowed, subject to compliance with PPA.

Shore Reception Facility Service Provider (SRF-SP) shall be accredited and authorized by PPA and shall render services only after the following are undertaken:

  • Submission of “Free Pratique” by the ship’s master
  • Completion of mandatory quarantine and boarding formalities by the BOQ and DOH.
  • Completion of the Waste on Board Vessel Information Form (WOBVIF) by the shipping agent
  • Clearance from the BOQ for disposal of wastes indicated in the WOBVIF.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will allow inbound international flights starting from May 11, 2020 to June 10, 2020. Inbound international chartered flights will only be allowed to land on Mondays and Thursdays if they secure clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and CAAP for slotting purposes. Meanwhile, inbound international commercial flights will be allowed to land on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, provided they are approved by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines at least 48 hours before their departure from the airport of origin, for slotting and rescheduling purposes to comply with the 400 passengers per day capacity of NAIA.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) shall rely on the judgement of Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and follows their “re-shipping” (transfer) procedures. BOQ shall board cruise ships whose foreign crews are requesting to be re-shipped to another vessel and issue individual clearances, consistent with those departing via commercial or chartered flights. Re-shipping may only be permitted if both ships are under the same principal as reflected in the ship’s submitted to BOQ and BI prior to arrival.
BI interposes no objection to re-shipping foreign crew for as long as BOQ has issued clearance.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) – released guidelines on arriving passengers in the Philippines. All passengers arriving Philippines are required to undergo RT-PCR tests as well as quarantine procedures while waiting for the results. Passengers must be informed of the payment for the cost of their accommodation in approved quarantine facility:

  • For returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), OWWA will shoulder the expense for land based OFW’s
  • For sea based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), LMA and/or Maritime Industry Authority will cover the expense
  • For non-OFW’s, they can choose from the approved facility at their own cost

Starting May 16, 2020, regions with moderate risk will be placed under general community quarantine while regions with low risk will no longer be under community quarantine.

There will be no commercial flights until May 15, 2020.

On May 21 IATF STG released advisory for the Repatriation of the OFW’s – Quarantine certificates issued to OFWs are now available in the PCG website and Facebook page. Authenticity of the certificates may be counter-checked through the Master List in the PCG website and Facebook page.

Bacolod City / Negros Occidental / Iloilo

An executive order was released stating that Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will be in effect until April 30. Anyone who violates this restriction will be placed in quarantine for 14 days.

Basilan, Cotabato City

Effective March 22, the island province is under a “state of public health emergency” and not a lockdown.

Batangas

Transport and Security: Public transport (land and sea) within the Batangas Province is still operational and shall serve passengers going to and from neighboring provinces for work, provided that:

  • For Sea, public transport: passengers are cleared from triage by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
  • For Sea, private transport: passengers are cleared from triage by Philippine Port Authority.
  • For Sea and Land public transport, passengers shall provide proper identification and work ID as pre-requisite for issuance of ticket.
  • Bureau of Immigration shall submit the list of incoming individuals from other countries daily to the Provincial Health Office.
  • Transport of basic and lifeline commodities such as, but not limited to food, medicines, medical supplies, gas, fuel and like shall be hampered.

No hotels or similar establishments shall be allowed to operate, except those accommodating the following:

  • For areas outside Luzon, guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of May 1, 2020.
  • Guests who have existing long-term booking.
  • Distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals.
  • Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols.
  • Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine.

Cebu

Starting May 20, Cebu Province will transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ). Businesses and public transportation will partially open and some of the current restrictions will ease. Public health protocols such as social distancing measures, temperature checks, and use of masks and gloves, among others will remain in place.

Davao

Suspension of all domestic air travel to and from the city. It shall exempt the cargo flights, medical evacuations (air ambulance), weather mitigation flights, maintenance flights, government and military flights and for emergency landing (all crews and passengers will not disembark as much as possible; if disembarkation is needed – crews and passengers will be contained in an isolation room in the airport) and recovery flights for expatriates.

General community quarantine will be implemented from 16 MAY 2020, 0001hrs, to 31 MAY 2020, 2359hrs. The Enhanced Community Quarantine in the entire city or specific barangay/s may be re-implemented at any time upon the recommendation of the Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Specialist doctors.

Iligan City

City is under the enhanced community quarantine. Vehicles carrying cargoes such as maritime and agricultural products, grocery, supplies, medicines and medical supplies, LPG, hardware materials, and those similarly situated, may be allowed to enter

Isabel

Issued an Executive Order No. 12 that bans the disembarkation of crew of all foreign vessels docking at a public or private port within the municipality or anchored in its municipal waters regardless of the nationality of the crew, of the port, of origin of the foreign vessels.

Laguna

Modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will start from May 16, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

Metro Manila

Effective March 15, 2020 (12 midnight) to April 14, 2020 domestic air, sea and land transport are suspended.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will be allowed to travel to mainland China, except to Hubei Province, upon execution of a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved.

Travel restrictions will be imposed on those traveling from countries with localized Covid-19 transmissions, except for Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, holders of Permanent Resident Visa, and holders of 9(e) Diplomat Visas issued by the government.

Land, domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from the NCR shall be restricted. All workers, whether employed or self-employed, will be provisionally allowed to travel to and from the NCR, subject to review by the IATF if public health considerations warrants.

  • All departing passengers shall be allowed transit through the NCR. Provided, that proof of confirmed international travel itinerary scheduled withing 12 hours from entry.
  • The movement of cargoes to and from the NCR, or in such other places which may be the subject of a community quarantine, shall be unhampered.
  • Inbound travelers from Iran and Italy are required to present a medical certificate issued by competent medical authorities within 48 hours, signifying that the traveler has tested negative to COVID-19.

The establishment of a Sub Task Group (STG) Establishing a Sub-Task Group (STG) for the Repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the NTF Task Group on Response Operations to facilitate and implement the mandatory fourteen-day facility quarantine requirement of all repatriated Filipino crew members.

Cruise ships carrying Filipino crew can enter the port of Manila and be used as a quarantine facility for said Filipino crew members. Foreign crew onboard aforesaid foreign cruise ships shall be allowed to disembark in Manila for the purpose of taking outbound flights to their destination, provided such foreign crew have also completed the fourteen-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation

Modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will start from May 16, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

Oriental Mindoro

  • An executive order no. 22 series of 2020, restricting the movement of people and goods in order to prevent the entry and spread of the COVID-19 in the province.
  • All persons, regardless of their origin and mode of travel, are prohibited from entering the province of Oriental Mindoro.
  • Delivery trucks, their drivers and helpers, shall only be allowed inside the port of Calapan City or Roxas while unloading the cargo.
  • Fuel haulers can travel to their point of destination provided that drivers and helpers shall remain inside their vehicles.

Puerto Princesa

Released EO 2020-25 adopting additional rules governing Puerto Princesa City for the duration of the GCQ from May 16 to 31, 2020:

  • Airports and seaports will operate for the unhampered delivery of goods only.
  • OFWs, permanent residents of foreign jurisdictions and stranded foreign nationals may leave Puerto Princesa City for abroad through PPIA without any impediment.
  • Hotels are only allowed to entertain long-term bookings, those who have existing accommodations for foreigners as of May 1, and those housing distressed OFWs and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals.

Siquijor

Foreign vessels are banned from docking at any port in the Province of Siquijor until further notice.

Surigao Del Norte

  • Travel ban to all incoming and outgoing domestic vessels.
  • All foreign vessels of export-oriented companies shall be allowed entry within the territorial waters of the province, subject to the strict compliance of the ff conditions:
    – 14 day quarantine period to prevent the spread of COVID-19 shall be strictly observed.
    – The subject foreign vessels should stay at the drifting area, while undergoing the 14-day quarantine.
    – While staying in the drifting area for quarantine purposes, no one should be allowed to board the vessel, and no crew shall be allowed to disembark.
    – While at the anchorage and/or loading area, no crew shall be allowed to disembark the vessels and no unauthorized persons will be allowed to board.